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The formal gardens of Elizabethan England were among the glories of their age. Complementing the great houses of the day, they reflected the aspirations of their owners, whose greatest desire was to achieve success at Court and to delight the Queen. No leading courtier would be without his great house, no great house was complete without its garden. In this richly illustrated work, Jane Whittaker explores these gems of Elizabethan England, focussing on the gardens of the Queen and her leading courtiers. Drawing on the cultural and horticultural sources of the day, as well as evidence surviving on the ground, she recreates these lost gardens, revealing both the rich Renaissance culture that underlay them and the sumptuous world of the Elizabethan aristocracy. The result is an evocation of one of the most opulent reigns in English history and an entertaining and informative study of one of the most interesting periods of garden history.